More than any other candidate in this race, I understand how difficult it is to repeal outdated overly punitive statutes in our laws. As an Assemblymember, I spent seven years fighting to repeal just two words from our penal code: gravity knife. My legislation unraveled years of racist, arbitrary and unconstitutional prosecutions of workers arrested in Manhattan for carrying a basic pocket knife.
Every District Attorney makes choices about what to prosecute and what to ignore. Even the most punitive prosecutor in New York has never charged anyone with Adultery, which is a class B misdemeanor, and is certainly committed in every county in the state.
Too often, our culture moves faster than our legislature. District Attorneys, as elected representatives of the people, have a responsibility to respond to those changes and to set priorities based on considerations of community needs and public safety.
When I’m Manhattan DA, I’ll lead by example and be a strong force for decarceration in Manhattan, in City Hall and in Albany. More prosecutions doesn’t equal more safety.
You can hold me accountable for this promise – here’s a list of some of what I won’t prosecute: